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Elliot Rodger and Me: The anatomy of a "Honey Badger" smear campaign

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I have a new theory that I think might help to explain why so many Men’s Rights Activists are so obsessed with false accusations of rape. It’s simple: They are so used to making false accusations themselves, about pretty much everything, that it’s hard for them to conceive of someone making an accusation that is actually true.

Naturally, as a critic of the Men’s Rights movement I’m a fairly reliable target for these false charges, and rarely does a day go by in which I don’t learn some new, terrible, and wholly imaginary thing I’m alleged to have said or done. Hell, these days I can barely make it through a Twitter conversation with A Voice for Men’s Dean Esmay without him spouting some grotesque falsehood about me.

The latest accusation from the A Voice for Men crowd – or at least from AVFM’s so-called Honey Badger Brigade – is that all the media talk about Elliot Rodger being an MRA was my fault. Or, as “Honey Badger” Alison Tieman put it in a tweet that she sent to an assortment of media outlets that had written about Rodger and the MRAs,

Tieman’s tweet links to a post on the Honey Badger Brigade blog titled “Feminist media bias, or how Man Boobz caused a media circus,” complete with a little caricature of me. (At least they didn’t depict me as a shirtless, self-flagellating Michael Moore lookalike, this time, or as a giant man-baby with poopy diapers eating a chicken leg.)

The big revelation of the Honey Badger Brigade post? That the first article that connected Eliot Rodger to the Men’s Rights movement included … a link to my blog:

I compiled a list of online articles in a rudimentary timeline, searching for the earliest pieces linking Elliot Rodger to MRAs, and the findings were pretty extraordinary. Likely the first article making this connection was on the Daily Kos, citing a blog. Which blog, you ask? None other than David (Man Boobz) Futrelle’s cutting-edge journalism at wehuntedthemammoth.com.

It gets worse. Of the 16 articles I looked at, eight of them sourced the Daily Kos article either directly or indirectly by citing an article that had cited that same Daily Kos article.

The clear implication of the post is that I was the “source” of the notion that Rodger was an MRA.

There’s just one little problem with that argument, which is that I never said any such thing.

Indeed, when the writer at the Daily Kos published their piece, I had said precisely nothing on the subject of Rodger at all. In fact, my first post on Rodger was published after the Daily Kos piece appeared. That  Daily Kos piece, which was based on original reporting by its author, linked only to my writings about incels, and the link to We Hunted the Mammoth was only one in a multitude of links.

Here’s what I said about Rodger in my first post on the subject:

[Rodger’s video] sounds almost like a parody of the misogynistic beliefs and rhetoric that I write about on this blog. His language and his melodramatic tone both echo the writings of many of those young men who consider themselves “incels.” His anger is the same anger we see from the rejected men who lash out with insults and threats on OkCupid when their often crude advances are turned down. He reminds me of every so-called “nice guy” who is inwardly seething with resentment born of sexual entitlement denied. He even, at one point, calls himself a “gentleman.” He also calls himself an “alpha.”

It is clear that his  resentment at women was stoked by what I call the “new misogyny” and by steeping himself in at least one online community that reaffirmed his exaggerated, unwarranted sense of victimhood. So far we have evidence that he was a commenter at PUAhate, a site ostensibly designed to critique PUAs but which has degenerated into a haven for misogynistic “incels” and angry trolls.

I made no mention of the Men’s Rights movement at all.

In a later post, written after a great deal more information about Rodger had appeared online, I was more explicit in stating that he was not, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, an MRA.

So why did so many in the media describe him as an MRA? Well, it’s not hard to guess: because he was driven by an exaggerated version of the familiar mixture of misogyny and aggrieved entitlement that drives so many MRAs.

As I wrote in my most widely read post on the subject:

While he doesn’t seem to have ever identified as a Men’s Rights activist per se – the only “rights” he seemed to be interested in were his own – his postings online echo the extreme and ignorant denunciations of feminism seen amongst MRAs and other manospherians.

I put it a bit more bluntly in a Reddit comment I wrote after first seeing the Honey Badger Brigade post:

If they’d actually paid attention to anything I’ve written on Rodger they would see that I didn’t call him an MRA; I went out of my way to point out that as far as we know he didn’t read MRA sites.

That said, as he was a regular at PUAhate, he was part of what you might call the MRA extended universe, and much of his ideology came out of the same misogynistic swamp that MRAs inhabit.

I didn’t cause any of this. MRAs caused this by being shitheads, and by thinking “any publicity is good publicity.” This is what MRAs get for supporting and defending AVFM for years, for their Occidental College spamming, for their crusades against an assortment of feminist villains they harassed and slandered. Oh, and for spewing misogyny all day every day.

My blog DOCUMENTS this. They’re the ones saying the shit that I quote. They made their own bed.

Other journalists have used me and my blog as a resource. They incorrectly labeled Rodger an MRA. But they weren’t far off. He was MRA-adjacent.

Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the regulars ate up the Honey Badger Brigade post, which seemed to confirm my reputation as some sort of dastardly misandrist boogeyman. None of them seemed to have read a word of anything I’d actually written about Rodger. One Redditor described me thusly:

The Futrella is a desperate character with receding hair and receding appreciation from his Feminist Cohorts of screaming delinquents. …

I do wonder if his followers are real or if he spends all his time between pizza and diet soda masquerading under multiple legends?

A few were calling for my head.

iethatis 6 points 3 days ago (14|8)  AVfM should sue him for damages resulting from the death threats and resulting security costs, and venue change costs resulting from his lies.      permalink     save     report     give gold     reply  [–]guywithaccount 3 points 3 days ago (4|1)  It'd be a tough case to prove.

That’s a bit of an understatement, huh?

Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t have a receding hairline. Even that is a false accusation.

As is Tieman’s remark about the “genocidal ideogogs” [sic]. But that’s a whole other kettle of worms.

EDIT: Oops. I originally neglected to take the difference in time zones into consideration when writing about when the Daily Kos piece appeared. While it did appear before my post, it wasn’t four hours before. I’ve corrected this in the piece.

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contrapangloss
7 years ago

Considering the fact that David is a legitimately awesome person, I’d be totally okay with being David.

The world could use a little more David.

Also, ferrets.

Also, also, cats.

Also, also, also, dogs.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Pallygirl,
David Lynch works too but this clip is what I thought of first and it’s a David Cronenberg. It’s an old movie but this clip is the ending so spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen it.

David,
You created me apparently and you’re going to have to tell me if we’re still in the game. Either way it can’t be a coincidence that you share a first name with David Cronenberg and David Lynch.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Guinea pigs are so cute. They’re such lump loaves. I want one but couldn’t guarantee that I could keep it safe from the kitties. Darrow is big and strong and get the cage open. Dracarys is an excellent hunter and I’m sure she would see it as food. She was a stray before I adopted her so despite being well fed now she’s completely obsessed with food.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
7 years ago

David, I’m always tempted to reply, “But David is funny and I’m not!”

I suspect they don’t really believe you have sockpuppets. It’s their juvenile version of an insult.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

They should just be true to themselves and call us poopyheads. You know they want to.

me and not you
me and not you
7 years ago

I had a friend who had a guinea pig. He thought she was his mate. He would chase the cats when they got too close to her (& he wasn’t in his cage). Some cats, at least, are pretty good at knowing which small furries are potential food/toys and which are household pets. I dunno about former strays though, that might be hard.

me and not you
me and not you
7 years ago

uh, because pronouns are dumb! In previous post: she = friend; he = guinea pig. Just in case that wasn’t clear…

lkeke35
lkeke35
7 years ago

This is a little OT, everyone but Feminist Frequency has a new video up by Anita Sarkeesian:

http://www.feministfrequency.com

Time to watch the Gamer Blogosphere totally lose it’s shit, if you’re interested.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: magnesium

she believes that some 90% of men are closeted trans women for some reason.

Damn! I have a tendency for friends to go trans on me, but that beats even my statistics!

RE: Auntie Alias

I’m dying to see how this unfolds.

I figure it’ll go like the other attempts at public events: maybe a couple dozen people show up, everyone breaks their arm patting themselves on the back, and Paul Elam pockets a lot of money.

RE: WWTH

I feel like I’m in eXistenZ.

WHY WOULD YOU REMIND ME OF THAT HORRIBLE MOVIE. AUGH. (Seriously, I watched it with one of my friends who’s a fellow weird-movie fan, and I just finished feeling a little queasy and wondering why on earth anyone would want to PLAY such an unpleasant game.)

taitaisanchez
7 years ago

Am I the only one who wants Ideagog to become a rank amongst use Mammothers?

Like Grand Poobah or something.

banshee
banshee
7 years ago

Mr. Futrelle, thank you for what you do.

Chris Wilson
7 years ago

When I was reading a bit of Reddit’s Men’s Rights subreddit last night I noticed someone saying that “Futrelle is about to go Hugo Schwyzer. Stay tuned.” or something to that effect. Is that just their fond hope, or do they expect the child porn smears to stick? Since they “can’t definitively say what you wrote” as Dean Esmay tweeted they seem to feel free to make it up.

A Wolverine
A Wolverine
7 years ago

In my imagination typhon trying to make sense looks something like this http://youtu.be/w_L8wjcnHbQ

of all the Fractally Wrong MRAs she is probably the most Fractally Wrong

kittehserf
7 years ago

Ideogog and Magog!

Oh good, I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t stop thinking Gog and Magog when I saw that.

We’ve statues of them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gog_and_Magog#mediaviewer/File:Gog%26Magog-1,-Royal-Arcade,-Melb,-11.08.2008.jpg

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

“Futrelle is about to go Hugo Schwyzer. Stay tuned.”

Yeah right. Last I heard, Futrelle wasn’t raping people and manipulating everyone around him so he could masturbate his martyr ego.

Nequam
Nequam
7 years ago

@WWTH: Cronenburg or David Lynch?

More “Tommy Wiseau or Uwe Boll?”

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

More “Tommy Wiseau or Uwe Boll?”

You can’t go wrong with “YOU’RE TEARING ME APART LISA!!111!”

ImmunologyGirl
ImmunologyGirl
7 years ago

I’m a lurker here- can I be David too? It’s always been my dream to be a man who “spends all his time between pizza and diet soda masquerading under multiple legends.” Although I want real sugar in my soda.

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

You can’t go wrong with “YOU’RE TEARING ME APART LISA!!111!”

Now you’ve gone and invoked it

Chris Wilson
7 years ago

The Hugo Schwyer comment might have meant nothing much, but it made me wonder if some of the Men’s Rights redditors have a disinformation campaign going against David (a la 4chan against feminists). That is, rather than just flailing around and projecting they are actively trying to turn feminists against David.

It won’t work!

justabrowngirl
7 years ago

I am David!! Keep doing the great work you do.

Owl Cake
Owl Cake
7 years ago

Admit it, though. Deep down, all of us are David.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

Now you’ve gone and invoked it

NO REGRETS.

katz
7 years ago

If we were all David, the number ninja thread would have been particularly surreal.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Like channelling without the typos.

Alice Sanguinaria
7 years ago

And furrier. Way furrier.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Oh, hey look, guys, it’s another relevant Lundy Bancroft quote!

“In most media coverage of bullying and school
violence, including highly publicized school
murders such as Columbine, reporters have
overlooked the gender issues. Headlines have
described these events as “kids killing kids,”
when close to 100 percent of them have involved
boys killing kids. In some cases it has been
revealed that the killings were related to boys’
hostility toward females, including one case in
which the two boys who went on a murderous
rampage said afterward that they had done it
because they were angry that their girlfriends had
broken up with them. But the urgent need to
confront the anti-female attitudes among these
boys was never mentioned as a strategy for
preventing future school violence.”

Gee, this doesn’t remind me of anything at all!

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Idk how that could possibly remind you of anything!

As for David going Hugo. Fucking. Schwyzer. Which HFS moment? Raping students? Attempted murder-suicide? “Pre-sober me” = “I’m clean! Forget my past!”? Public meltdown? Attempted suicide (with manipulative overtones)? “Feminists all hate me, why can’t they forgive me already”?

I mean, there’s a lot to chose from there!

GrumpyOldMan
GrumpyOldMan
7 years ago

Confronting anti-female attitudes in boys would be counter-productive; it would be much harder to mold them into football players, then soldiers, etc.

tigtog
7 years ago

What is with these guys calling the feMRAs “honey badgers”? It creeps me out in a dirty leering old man kinda way.

I can’t really imagine anyone *leering* at a honey badger. It’s just a fairly standard choice of a fierce animal as a mascot. I feel sorry for the honey badgers being associated with typhon etc.

mildlymagnificent
7 years ago

Football players? Not if you do it right.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-17/football-club-says-no-to-domestic-violence/5531020

I believe this may be the first ever. Very, very happy if anyone knows of other earlier initiatives.

GrumpyOldMan
GrumpyOldMan
7 years ago

“Football players? Not if you do it right.”
Unfortunately, not really. I am not talking about violence against women when I say anti-female; I am talking about reinforcing a high school boy’s sense of manhood by setting up an activity that is supposedly too tough for wussy girls. (They don’t know about childbirth yet.) I think a lot of the sexual assault problem in the military is due to men who join the military to prove their manhood and then get angry when they find out that women can do it too. The pattern is: you make boys feel insecure, then you offer them a way to counteract that and just stand back and watch them go for it.

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

Pretty insulting to actual honey badgers, to be honest. I love those freaking things, tearing apart snakes and birds and shit.

Kind of telling though that the mooooovement has chosen to refer to the women belonging to it by a different, ridiculous label than they attach to male majority. If that doesn’t tell you you’re a mascot and sideshow I don’t know what does.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

To say nothing of their use as attack dogs. Attack dogs aren’t trained to think for themselves.

Herman
Herman
7 years ago

Esmay is such a hoot (as they all are), but here is something NOT from a satire site:

https://twitter.com/_FloridaMan/status/478989660820340737

And I’m quite sure that for every example of “feminist excess” you could find hundreds of stories just like that.

The AVfM crowd don’t get it and they never will (with but a very few exceptions).

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

They’re literally tools utilised by the MRA majority. That’s not anything to be proud of. That’s being used for someone else’s benefit.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
7 years ago

Herman, I’m sure it will be all her fault if the misters have anything to say about it.

Every time a woman commits a terrible crime, it’s front-page news on AVFM. Their excuse is that society covers up women’s crimes so they want to shine a light on them. Meanwhile, their source is the MSM so the public already knows. Like everything else, they do it just to get their followers riled up because KA-CHING.

contrapangloss
7 years ago

I love real honey badgers, and I have since I was a kidlet. There was this movie, with this honey badger that ran across a desert to get a boot. There was this book, where a honey badger led a jerk to honey, got ignored, led the jerk to a civet cat the next time, as a ‘Thanks for not giving me my honey dues, jerk-face’.

There were documentaries where this deceptively adorable critter took down cobras.

Honey badgers, they’re like a clever wolverine.

(Seen real wolverines. They were having a domestic dispute, in the middle of the highway, at 3 in the morning. I may have a grudge, even though they are adorable and tough critters, too.)

Real honey badgers don’t care (about these feMRAs).

contrapangloss
7 years ago

Note: I did not hot the wolverines. Evasive maneuvers were taken. No one was injured, although the sleeping father in the back did get a good wake up call! Really, wolverines? Why on the far side of a corner or a 60 mph highway? Really?

contrapangloss
7 years ago

-hit, hit the wolverines. Curse you tiny keyboard and lack of proof reading!

seleukosnicator10
7 years ago

That’s why I call them male supremacists. It is a more inclusive label that fits all the wonderful little fellows in the Man O Sphere into a single category.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

Poor honey badgers,
the human ones are much less
intelligent, sigh

strivingally
7 years ago

@Seleuko: spot on. I liken “Men’s rights” in the sense that the manosphericals use it to the way white supremacists say “white pride”. I’m a white man and neither my pride nor my rights are under threat, no matter what these hateful bigots try to spin.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

I was all, hot the honey badgers? Nice of you not to, but what?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

BTW, David, did you see this crap from Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen? Because if you want an example of mainstream misogyny, here it is, and these two have far more influence on how young men are being taught to think then Elam and friends do.

http://feministcurrent.com/9047/seth-rogen-and-judd-apatow-think-making-connections-between-male-entitlement-and-violence-against-women-is-opportunistic/

Ann Morgan
Ann Morgan
7 years ago

Vox Day is a flat out hypocrite and liar. After he and his ilk, for months, sang the praises of how holy it was to molest and kill children, they then went off on the author Marion Zimmer Bradley, who allegedly molested her daughter. I pointed out the obvious, that after all their previous comments, their condemnation of Bradley was hypocritical, pretty much a case of the pot calling the kettle black. I was then accused of supporting MZB’s actions, and also of making comments posted by someone else called ‘giraffe’ in favor of child abuse. No to both counts. I am not giraffe (a typical example of the accusations without evidence Vox is fond of, and pointing out that the pot is not in a good position to criticize the kettle for being black is not the same thing as trying to claim that the kettle isn’t black, either.

friday jones
friday jones
7 years ago

…”screaming delinquents…”

Putting aside the part about Internet posts being described as “screaming,” I’m more concerned with the concept that feminist women are somehow “delinquents,” wondering what we are delinquent IN exactly. Are we delinquent in obeying our self-appointed slavemasters? I demand to see the bill of sale before I bend the knee, so I’ll remain proudly “delinquent,” which apparently, for a woman, is synonymous with “fee.”